Friday 19 August 2016

Funday Friday - Truth or Lie? Anne Hamilton - Month 4 Week 3

Welcome to the latest edition of Truth of Lie. My name is Rachel and I will be your host, for this exciting new game show. Each Friday, I will have one contestant, and they will be answering at least 14 questions. There is of course one small twist...

For three of the answers, they have to lie. It is your task as the viewer to guess which three answers are lies. You are allowed 3 guesses and I want them posted into the comments field. 

Every 4 weeks, I will close the guessing, count up how many correct answers each of you has, and create a leaderboard. Anyone who is top of the leaderboard, will go into a draw for a paperback of the winners choice (open internationally). 

Please do include a way for me to contact you (email or twitter or similar), so that I can let you know if you have won. 

The weekend after a 4 week period closes, not only will I produce a leaderboard, and announce a winner, I will also let you know into the true answers, and which were the lies.  

Closing date for the fourth month is 11pm on 1st September 2016. 

So without further ado, let's meet today's contestant. 

Good morning contestant, please can you tell me your name and a little bit about yourself?

Thanks for having me, Rachel; it’s a pleasure to be here! I’m Anne, and I live in Edinburgh with my small son. I started out with a career in social work and community health, but over the last few years I’ve gravitated towards writing and editing. My first full-length book, A Blonde Bengali Wife, was published in 2010 and reprinted as an eBook last year. It’s a travel memoir about my time in Bangladesh. In the meantime, I’ve done a PhD in Creative Writing and I teach, mentor and edit fiction and creative non-fiction. I’ve just finished my first novel (and am psyching myself up to look for a literary agent) and am working on another.

Please to meet you Anne, I have heard great things about A Blonde Bengali Wife, and will be very curious to see what you are writing next. 

Now onto the show, and remember everyone, Anne hasn't been entirely truthful with three of these answers, so it is up to you to guess which ones they are (only 3 guesses per person though). 

1) Who is your favourite author?

I’m a fickle thing; my favourite author completely depends on my mood. If I fancy some crime, it’s Barbara Vine or PD James, if it’s romance, any of the Irish chick-lit authors, like Cathy Kelly or Sheila O’Flanagan. I like Scarlett Thomas for quirky reads and I love much of Daphne du Maurier. Day to day, my favourite author will be the one whose novel I’m currently helping edit – I always fall in love with them (the book, not the author!)

2) What book do you wish you had written?

Mervyn Peake’s The Gormenghast Trilogy. I first read this, reluctantly (it’s fantasy – not my thing – and very thick) a good few years ago after a friend raved about it. Much against my will, I was completely converted by the end of Ch3. I actually even reviewed it, which is not something I routinely did in those days, and I can still remember writing ‘it makes me want to write a novel that has this effect on all its readers’.

3) Tell me about any really memorable dream or nightmare you have had

Every now and then I dream I’m in a lift that goes steadily up to the top of a 50 storey building. Then – it plummets straight down to the bottom. I know it’s going to happen and I can actually feel that lurch of motion in my stomach whilst I’m asleep. It stops at the bottom, and I’m fine.

4) What was your most memorable holiday ever?

I was twelve and on my first ever school exchange. It was to Stavanger (Norway) and I’d never met my penpal, Ewa, before. I really didn’t want to go because I’d told ferocious lies in my letters (basically made up the person I wished I was) and I knew I couldn’t keep it up. When I arrived, her mother took me to their apartment in the city, although Ewa had told me she lived on a ranch in the countryside… Turns out she’d made up even more than me. We both confessed and had a fabulous time; we’re still friends now.

5) If you could be a fruit, what would you be and why?

A jack fruit. They have the texture of a banana, the taste of pineapple and nobody ever knows what to make of them. Very exotic – and unfathomable. (I’m not, but I’d like to be)

6) Do you consider yourself to be an angel or a devil? Please give an example to validate your answer

Oh, definitely an angel, no question about it. I mean, I studied epidemiology and then went overseas doing Good Works – I even established a charity. I am a very hard-working single parent. My mother loves me. I can cook a gloriously gooey chocolate cake from scratch and I only drink gin at weekends… Oh and I’ve an excellent sense of humour. What’s not to love???  (I am, however, a total devil in my head!)

7) What is your dream job, and have you tried to achieve it?

I’m almost, kind of, doing it now. I would love to write (fiction) and make enough money to live on. I’m certainly nowhere near that, but the work I do – editing novels, teaching creative writing – I really enjoy and it allows me to be around for my little boy and gives me a bit of time to write my own stuff. Now I just have to work on getting a book deal and finding a lovely desert island (with Internet) to live on.

8) Besides reading, which I am guessing is a given, what other hobbies do you have?

I play the guitar - badly. And I sing along (old Seekers hits mostly) which is probably even worse, but I don’t care because there is nobody else to hear me. I used to like playing the piano, but can’t get one up the stairs of a third floor tenement flat.

9) What is your best childhood memory?

Going to stay with my grandma. I realise now how she absolutely indulged me – making me fried bread for breakfast, with a hole for the egg yolk (I didn’t like the white) in the middle, and taking me into town to choose what seemed like a whole pile of books. The two things are linked because she also (don’t tell my parents) let me read the books whilst I was eating…

10) Did you have an invisible friend as a child? If so please tell me about them. 

She was my identical twin and her name was Maria. She was my total alter ego: confident, brave, clever, funny – and famous. She stayed with me for years and then one day, I simply decided I was too old for an imaginary friend and packed her off. 

11) What would your ideal pet be?

It’s not exactly a pet, but I want a robot in human form that will do basically anything I want him (yes, definitely a him) to do – mostly housework, DIY, pampering me etc. When I’ve had enough I could switch him off and stand him next to the vacuum cleaner in the cupboard.

12) What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to music?

Brass bands, and especially brass bands playing hymns and spiritual music. When I was a child my dad played in a Salvation Army band and on Sundays he’d come home and put on his endless array of band records. I really did not appreciate it at the time (the Top Ten was on the radio and I couldn’t listen) but now it’s a real hit of nostalgia.

13) If you could only look at one view for the rest of eternity, what or where would you like to be to see this view?

I love to look up at a blue sky – crisp and cool blue – and see white gulls, just one or two, gliding and swooping. It’s the most calming view I can think of, and I’d probably be up on the north coast of Scotland to see it.

14) Can you let us in on an embarrassing secret?

I have been known to do Lego. On my own. When my little boy is in bed. I’ve also been known to brag about it to him the next morning, demanding he admire it before I’ll get breakfast. As a result, he’s given me my own set of Lego – so that I don’t interfere with his. Talk about role reversal.

What a fascinating set of answers Anne, thank you so much for taking part, I love the idea of you playing Lego on your own, possibly with your invisible friend!

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Truth or Lie? I will be back next week with another episode, and in the mean time...
Don't forget to guess the lies, to be in with a chance of a prize! 

And if you are having trouble commenting on the blog, tweet me the numbers of the answers you think were lies, and also the author's name so I can copy your guesses across. 

Amazon UK
They all said that Bangladesh would be an experience ... 

For Anne Hamilton, a three-month winter programme of travel and "cultural exchange" in a country where the English language, fair hair, and a rice allergy are all extremely rare was always going to be interesting, challenging, and frustrating. What they didn't tell Anne was that it would also be sunny, funny, and the start of a love affair with this unexplored area of Southeast Asia. 

A Blonde Bengali Wife shows the lives beyond the poverty, monsoons, and diarrhoea of Bangladesh and charts a vibrant and fascinating place where one minute Anne is levelling a school playing field "fit for the national cricket team," and then cobbling together a sparkly outfit for a formal wedding the next. Along with Anne are the essential ingredients for survival: a travel-savvy Australian sidekick, a heaven-sent adopted family, and a short, dark, and handsome boy-next-door. 

During her adventures zipping among the dusty clamour of the capital Dhaka, the longest sea beach in the world at Cox's Bazaar, the verdant Sylhet tea gardens, and the voluntary health projects of distant villages, Anne amasses a lot of friends, stories ... and even a husband? 

A Blonde Bengali Wife is the ‘unexpected travelogue’ that reads like a comedy of manners to tell the other side of the story of Bangladesh. 

All money earned from A Blonde Bengali Wife goes direct to the charity, Bhola's Children, of which the author and agent are active participants. A Blonde Bengali Wife isn't about Bhola but it is a tribute to Anne's journeys into Bangladesh and all the friends she has made there. Most of all, it is the story of the country that inspired Bhola's Children. 

Author of A Blonde Bengali Wife
Buy it at Amazon 

WriteRight Editing Services at

Twitter @AnneHamilton7


  1. No idea as long answers and thorough. I'm going for 14,10 and 6

  2. I have missed the other two �� but I'm still having a go this week.
    I think it's 6, 13,(no such thing as a blue sky on the north coast of Scotland lol) and 14.

    1. Ooh, have a go at mine!

  3. Hi Rachel - great to be here! And thanks for the guesses, everyone. Anne

  4. This is really difficult! I'm going to take a wild guess and say 4, 8 and...2.


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